Beyoncé’s Mom Just Revealed the Real Story of How She Came Up With Her Name

Beyonce, Tina Knowles
Photo: AP Photo/Jonathan Short.

Beyoncé has been a household name in Hollywood for decades, but what does Beyoncé’s name mean and what is it inspired by? Well, we’ll let the woman the world can thank for Beyoncé  to tell the story: Beyoncé’s mom Tina Knowles Lawson.

In an interview on the “In My Head with Heather Thompson” podcast on Tuesday, September 15, Tina revealed that her eldest daughter’s first name is actually her maiden name. “A lot of people don’t know that Beyoncé is my last name. It’s my maiden name,” Tina said. “My name was Celestine Beyoncé, which at that time was not a cool thing to have that weird name. I wanted my name to be Linda Smith because those were the cool names.”

Tina, who shares daughters Beyoncé (whose full name is Beyoncé Giselle Knowles) and Solange with her ex-husband Mathew Knowles, also revealed that she was the youngest of seven kids and each of her siblings also had a different spelling for their last name, Beyoncé.

“All of us have a different spelling. I think me and my brother, Skip, were the only two that had B-E-Y-O-N-C-E,” Tina said.

Tina, who said that some of her siblings’ last name was spelled “B-E-Y-I-N-C-E,” revealed that her mother told her the names were spelled differently because that’s what was put on their birth certificates. “So I said, ‘Well, why didn’t you argue and make them correct it?’ And she said, ‘I did one time, the first time, and I was told be happy that you’re getting a birth certificate,'” Tina said. “Because at one time Black people didn’t get birth certificates.”

Tina also went on to talk about her daughters’ charitable efforts, which she said are often done in private. “[I get] upset when [Beyoncé] gets all this criticism, because she’s not the person and Solange is not the person to go and brag about what they do,” Tina said. “They just do it because it was instilled in them at nine and four to give back, to treat people with dignity, to appreciate and respect people that have less than you.”

As for what the actual word “Beyoncé” means, well, there are a few different definitions. But, according to The Name Meaning, “Beyoncé” means “beyond others,” which suits Beyoncé’s out-of-this-world persona. The word also has Creole origins. As for Beyoncé’s younger sister, Solange, the “Don’t Touch My Hair” singer’s name also has a special meaning, according to BabyNames.com. Per the website, Solange means “Solemn” and has French origins. For more celebrity stage name meanings, click here.

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